On a -20 degree Minnesota winter evening in 1967, Marguerite Hoffman gathered a handful of teachers for a meeting. She hoped to form an organization to promote excellence in piano teaching and for teachers to provide support for one another. The Rochester Keyboard Club was born that night with Marguerite Hoffman as president, Diane Hoffman as vice-president, and Diane Toogood as secretary-treasurer. Meetings were held at Bach Music in downtown Rochester.
Much as been accomplished in the past 50 years. We had had many excellent speakers at our monthly meetings including big names like Leo Poldolsky, Lil Kraus, and Joan Last. We have had wonderful social events and built friendship spanning many years. We have held social events atthe Plummer House, the Country Club, the Kahler Hotel, and members’ homes. We have performed for each other, shared our favorite recipes, and supported one another. We have travelled to St. Paul to participate in a master class at the Schubert Club’s Period Instrument Museum. We have performed in “Turnabout” recitals in which we played for our students. We have provided our students with many venues in which to perform and learn.
Over the years we have been strongly supported by our local music stores: Bach Music, Schmitt Music, Hamilton Music, and Petit Music; all of whom graciously opened their doors to us for our meeting venues. For many years Schmitt Music provided instruments for our events at no cost.
At one point, we expanded our name to the Rochester Area Keyboard Club since many of our members live in surrounding communities. In 2009 we became a local association of MMTA, and our president and secretary represent us in the state association.
As we approach our 50th year, we can look back with pride on all we have accomplished and we plan to continue striving well into the future!